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Full text of "The History Of Western Education"

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This is admirably illustrated by the educational scheme^pf the
Jesuits. It was not the product of any one mind, but emb,pdie4 -
the experience and wisdom of the whole society. In 1584 Clauctitis
Aquaviva, the fourth General, appointed a committee of six
members from different provinces to draw up a standard plan.
After a careful study of many works on education and a survey
of the methods followed in the best contemporary institutions,
both Catholic and Protestant, they drew up a Report which,
after being submitted to all the provinces, was made the basis of
a working scheme. This was printed in 1591 and tried for eight
years. Finally, in 1599, after constant discussion, there was issued
the elaborate Plan of Studies (Ratio Studionim), which regulated
in an authoritative manner all the details of subject and method
for the Jesuit schools and universities until it was revised and
modernized in 1832.

In general conception their methods resemble closely those of
Sturm, as he himself had noted with generous approval. The
studies prescribed fall into two courses: a lower preparatory
course of a literary kind with carefully graded classes culminating
in rhetoric, for boys ; a higher course in philosophy leading up to
theology or some other special study, for adolescents and young
men. But even in the literary course of the gymnasium, where
the resemblance is evident in the importance attached to Cicero
and in such details as prize-giving, promotion by examination, the
subdivision of classes in groups of ten and the like, there are many
differences. There were only five classes, the lowest classes being
omitted for economy of effort; Greek was taught alongside Latin
from the beginning; some attention was generally given to the
use of the vernacular; and effective expression in speech and
writing was sought by extending the highest class—the rhetoric
class—over two and even three years. Still greater were the
differences with regard to the treatment of the higher studies.
The subjects were much the same as in Strassburg, but, following
the example of Paris University, a much longer time was given to
them, and a clear division was made between the preliminary
course in philosophy and science, which occupied three years—
corresponding to the arts course of the universities—and the
higher course in theology with a four years' programme of work
and two years' revision.

A most valuable innovation was the care given to the preparation